Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I learned this in high school, and I revisit it often from time to time, because it simply makes sense.

When I was in high school, I was recruited to work as a peer mediator with a team of psychologists and social workers who served teenagers in upstate New York. My roll was to meet with others my age and to talk through life's dilemmas as a peer mediator. At the time, the work was positioned so that adolescents like me could have meetings with teenagers who had a lot of baggage in their young lives. We were trained to be listeners and mentors, and the meetings always began with the serenity prayer.

Throughout my life I've said these words as a motto for working with difficult situations where monkey wrenches are thrown into the worlds of people around me and whenever I can't figure out what is the best course of action to be taken. My nature is to bring peace to those I know, but even then I realize that sometimes the ethical and moral dilemmas are larger than the solutions I have to find answers. So, I listen, think, ask questions, and try to guide in the best ways I know how.

Such was my Monday yesterday, where I was introduced to the story of a young man I worked with in Syracuse. His journey was difficult from the get go, but his latest chapters have become even more complicated. We talked last night and he filled me in on more of his journey - I wish I could say I had advice he could use, but I'm unsure if any advice is good advice. He is trapped in a corner by competing cultures and historical traditions that we in the United States do not know.

I mustered what I could for logical next steps, but I'm not sure any will bring him better peace in his life. As I process our conversation, all I could hear myself saying are these words - succumbing to the Great Whatever that time will be best for all.

Tuesday has to get better, right? If not, that is okay, too. I am now a few hairs grayer and a lot more wiser for having to think through the complexities young people sometimes have to work with. I will add the 'o' to God, and hope Good will win in the end...that is, if good is possible for all people.

Why can't it be Friday?

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